Better croc safety won't bite Cairns ratepayers
CROCODILES will be targeted and removed from two Far Northern local government areas, but ratepayers will not be forced to foot the bill for protective barriers under new plans to curb croc numbers around popular waterways.
After visiting Cairns on Wednesday, Queensland Environment Minister Andrew Powell met Cassowary Coast and Hinchinbrook councils to outline new crocodile management plans.
Under the Cassowary Coast's plan, saltwater crocodiles more than 2m in length, as well as any smaller crocs showing aggressive behaviour, will be removed from Etty Bay, Kurramine Beach, North and South Mission Beach.
The same restrictions will apply to inland recreational spots in the Johnstone River, Banyan Creek and El Arish.
But the council has decided against installing physical barriers, which will be considered at Lake Placid and Freshwater Creek in Cairns.
Innisfail has had a run of crocodile sightings this year, including a 3.3m saltie caught by rangers last month after it lunged at a houseboat owner in the North Johnstone River.
Cassowary Coast Mayor Bill Shannon welcomed the plan, saying rising crocodile numbers coincided with more sightings from locals.
"They have a lack of fear of humans and it's appropriate to have such a plan," he said.
Crocodiles have also stalked rowers from Innisfail's Coconuts Outrigger Canoe Club, causing a decline in membership this year.
Meanwhile, threatening crocodiles will be removed from Hinchinbrook Council's Forrest Beach, Lucinda Beach and Taylor's Beach. tag Report crocodile sightings on 1300 130 372.
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Open wide: Santa had to put on a brave face when he stopped by Cairns Tropical Zoo's crocodile enclosure yesterday, after tripping over in the pen with this 4.5m saltie Zolt, giving onlookers a scare. Picture: BRENDAN FRANCIS